Images by: Chris Taylor 



Hey guys! Wow, this year has certainly started with a bang on my side and I hope all of you have had a great start to 2024!

We already had our first Western Cape race on the 21st of January, your first national race in Sabie on the 28th of January and now this coming weekend our 2nd Western Cape downhill race at the brand new downhill track at Spice Route that they have built for the SA champs that is happening at the beginning of March.

There are lots planned for 2024 still. We have a bunch of local races ahead of us as well as going to Europe for about 3 months. I will have a lot to do with the big racing team from YT Industries, the YT Mob, this year so that means I will be at all the world cup races and I am super excited for that!

A bunch of Youth camps are also in the pipeline. I will have my local youth camps as well as be a part of some youth camps in Germany. The skills training side of things have grown at such a crazy pace that it has been keeping me super busy the last couple of months and it is something that I really enjoy doing.

However, the main focus at this point would be the SA champs that is coming up on the first weekend in March. As the defending champion I of course want to give it my best shot and try to get the title again however there are some fast boys around at this stage so that would be no easy task.

The new track that they have built for us for the SA champs race is just outside Paarl on the famous Spice Route wine farm. I haven't personally ridden it, I have just walked it to check out how it is. It winds itself down the Paarl mountain starting off with some high speed turns and some slight off camber sections until it dives down some really steep and loose sections before a high speed pedal finish. The terrain is very loose as it is freshly built and hasn't had any rain so that in my opinion will be the trickiest. To try and ride the steep and off camber sections while negotiating the very loose terrain.

Tire choice will of course be very crucial, but the cool thing is we have a local race there this coming weekend so that would be a good test of how the track runs and can help us make better decisions come the main SA champs race.

When I write my next column it will be post SA champs as well as probably almost on my way to Europe, so I will let you guys know how it went there as well as exactly what will be up at the world cup races this year. It is going to be a very exciting year.

The bicycle industry has also been struggling the last year and a half as a lot of brands and businesses have suffered since the whole covid hype, but I have a feeling that from mid 2024 the industry will start to recover again as well as the economy I hope haha! But who knows, we will have to wait and see.

Until next time

Johann "Potie" Potgieter

Johann (Pottie) Potgieter is a multiple national downhill champion. He loves to rip, stay caffeinated and share his skills and knowledge with new gravity riders.

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